Looking up into the newly restored Capitol Rotunda. (Mike Vanata)

Lawmakers hustled to pass bills and forge a balanced budget as the 65th Wyoming Legislature gathered in the newly restored State Capitol this week. 

But some legislators and political observers may have also slowed down to take in the building’s new veneer and ornate interior — including taking a moment to gaze up into the newly renovated rotunda. 

As part of an extensive four-year rehabilitation project, the 1888 trompe l’oeil pattern in the rotunda was meticulously restored. Trompe l’oeil means “fools the eye”; the style of painting creates the illusion that the depicted objects are three-dimensional.

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The rotunda renovation also included the installation of four bronze sculptures by the renowned Mexican artist Delissalde. “The Four Sisters” are feminine allegories representing truth, justice, courage and hope. 

All told, the exhaustive project, which topped $300 million, rebuilt entire wings, re-gilded the dome, replaced a central utility plant and exposed and polished up many historic features.  

Katie Klingsporn

Katie Klingsporn is WyoFile's managing editor. She is a journalist and word geek who has been writing about life in the West for 15 years. Her pieces have appeared in Adventure Journal, National Geographic...

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